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BetterWithCheddar last won the day on April 7

BetterWithCheddar had the most liked content!

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About BetterWithCheddar

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    Former Scout; Current Scout Dad

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  1. While there are a few delusional folks out there, I think the vast majority of parents sign their kids up for club teams simply because their kids enjoy playing sports. Parents don't mind the added expense and time commitment as long as their child is having fun, making friends, and getting exercise. In many large suburban school districts, kids need to play their primary sport during the club season in order to make their high school varsity team. This is most common with soccer, basketball, and baseball / softball. A kid's skill level is unlikely to keep up with peers if they sit out th
  2. We are just now gearing up for travel (or "club") basketball in my household, which starts in 3rd grade. I assure you, I'm not delusional. My son will never play pro basketball or receive an athletic scholarship. My only hope for him is that he's able to play varsity basketball in high school. We live in a large suburban school district. There are currently ~50 boys in his grade participating in the high school's youth program. Only 8 will ever get to play varsity basketball. Beginning in 5th grade, the school sorts the kids by ability through the formation of "A", "B", "C", and "D" teams
  3. Your camps have a McDonald's nearby !?!? 😛 I'm jealous. Our favorite council camp is way the heck out there. It's delightful ... until you need something.
  4. Apologies, @AwakeEnergyScouter - I see were referring to internalized suffering that was mentioned in another post, which I have no problem believing is real (I think we can all relate to some degree). I initially read your post to mean suffering by society from the outward projection of masculinity (also real, but debatable IMHO). I tagged you simply because I thought you've added a lot of thoughtful replies and I've enjoyed engaging with you in this thread.
  5. I wonder if work culture has also had an impact on membership declines. Both of my parents had good, steady jobs with the same employer for 30+ years, but they rarely worked over 40 hours per week. Today, my wife and are always within 20 feet of our laptops. We log-in during off hours to get caught up or work ahead. At times, I wonder if this is really necessary since our jobs aren't that great; however, they are good enough where we don't want to lose them. I'm sorry to say the thought of taking kids camping for a full weekend sounds exhausting.
  6. @AwakeEnergyScouter, do you really see a lot of damage and suffering caused by men who cling to traditional gender roles? Can you provide an example? I do believe there is such thing as "toxic masculinity" (where one's narrow focus on perceived masculine attributes becomes a net negative on society or their personal relationships), but men embracing the traditional "provider" role is still largely a good thing. Think of how many of today's problems could be solved by a present father who ensured his children were housed, clothed, and fed. I view the lack of masculinity as the greater pitfall.
  7. It's more of the former - I look back fondly on that experience now. During those formative years, I didn't spend much time contemplating the role of Scouting in my life. I just enjoyed being a Boy Scout. My closest friends in middle school and high school were all boys. Around 8th grade, we started mingling with a group of girls at our school, but there was always a separate "boy clique" and "girl clique." I developed a better sense of self-awareness over time. One of the biggest challenges of those early teen years is that our bodies are becoming adult-like, yet
  8. @AwakeEnergyScouter, I appreciate your thoughtful reply. At that age, there wasn't anything that made me want to retreat from girls. In fact, my developing brain was probably pushing me toward them. Scouting gave me an opportunity to turn that part of my brain off for the weekend and enabled me to better absorb my troop experience. I didn't have to worry about body odor, acne, getting my hair just right, or "peacocking" (strutting around with my feathers out to ward off competing males). I don't think I was any less prepared for my adult life because I had been interacting with female pee
  9. It's OK for us to be a little different. For all our troubles, the US is still exceptional in many respects. We've gifted the world airplanes, the telephone, the internet, Post-It notes, and sliced bread. Clearly, we're getting a few things right over here. 🙂 I respect that your experience may have been different from mine and believe yours to be valuable too, but most kids in the US already get 8 hours of mixed-gender interaction in school. Many extra-curriculars, aside from athletics, are also integrated. Boys and girls already have ample opportunities to interact. The si
  10. Interestingly, a fair number of large companies seem to be pivoting away from the loaded DEI term: Under attack, DEI quietly transforms - The Washington Post Anecdotally, I'll mention that I may have hit a breaking point on the HR-speak at work. We were recently instructed to avoid the term "good fit" when describing a potential new hire. You see, "good fit" might imply that we have preconceived notions about what we value in a candidate, including a preferred race, religion, gender, or personality. Instead, we were asked to describe a strong candidate as a "cultural add." Can you im
  11. I've been pretty supportive of the recent membership changes, but I gotta say - I have some serious reservations about coed troops. Middle school may have been the 3 worst years of my childhood, but Scouting was my refuge at that time. It was nice to go on outings with the boys in my troop without having to worry about impressing anyone. By high school, I was more self-assured and wouldn't have minded participating in a coed troop, but I do worry that we're denying our boys (and girls) a growth opportunity by integrating them at this stage in their development. The march toward school 2.0
  12. I'm surprised we don't hear about more issues with the YMCA. Perhaps my BSA training has made me hypersensitive to compromising situations. When taking my son to swim lessons, I skip the family changing area and opt for the men's room where they still have a dedicated wing for parents of young children. The locker room is partitioned for privacy (seriously, it's like a maze), but that also would make it difficult for a staff member or well-meaning bystander to intervene if they saw inappropriate activities. We always try to get in and out as fast as possible (you can shower at home, kid).
  13. It looks like this ill-fated program was rolled-out during my 15-year Scouting hiatus between the time I worked at my local council camp in college and when my son was old enough to join Cub Scouts. I'm guessing the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis put an emphasis on marketable degrees and the BSA (already suffering from membership declines), tried to prop themselves up by attaching themselves to the STEM movement? And people actually voted to turn Scouts into night school? 😂
  14. @fred8033, one of the first Google hits I came across suggested that Girl Scout membership declined from 2.8 million in 2003 to ~1 million in 2021. This would be a point-to point decrease of ~65% over an 18-year span. According to a table I pulled from Wikipedia, BSA membership went from 3.2 million in 2003 to ~1 million in 2021. This would be a point-to point decrease of ~69% over the same period. While some of the BSA's issues have been self-inflicted, I do think the membership challenges are part of a larger societal trend - kids just have a lot more choices these days (and that's
  15. @jumpingjoj, I'm not too familiar with the bankruptcy process. How exactly did a scout leader get roped into this? Aside from someone getting physically hurt under my charge, this is pretty much my worst nightmare as a scout volunteer. Unless the accused wanted to lawyer-up to clear their name (with a limited success rate and drawing more attention to themselves in the process), their efforts may be better spent elsewhere. We're only given so much time on this Earth - why spend it on an organization that would turn on them so quickly?
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